We know it’s late on Friday, but we aren’t going to miss our Flower Fridays! We know these aren’t always our most popular posts, but as “full cycle” flower-pollination-food conscious growers, we feel a duty to anchor this concept into our fellow growers!
We were lamenting earlier this year how we’d completely missed our sowing window for Violas inadvertently and were worried about their potential performance. We clearly underestimated the vigor and response of this flower and despite those drawbacks, our violas are popping off like crazy despite their late start.
Violas are genetic neighbors to Petunias, an evergreen gardener’s favorite flower. With nearly 600 species to choose from, violas can be a literal smorgasbord of stunning varieties that the grower can get into. Particularly well suited to containers, deck rail containers and other “small flower bursts” the grower might plan, violas are like music to us. They fully suit the role of decorating the time you might be using to enjoy your other flowers. Although the etymologic relation to the classic instrument wasn’t intentional, the proximity to the word “violet” was not.
While we often feature flowers that have long, ancient histories, dating well back into BC times, violas are relatively recently described. They entered botanical acknowledgement in the mid-1700’s. Curiously, by the time botanists started defining the genetic families of flowers and plants, violas have occupied more than one genetic family over its time since identification.
Violas have captured our imagination and hearts as growers, While most of you are familiar with the common “Johnny Jump Up” viola, we’ve pursued some super interesting and outright stunning varieties. While they are clearly annuals, the northern viola grower will observe their remarkable ability to self-seed and become a regular annual volunteer that occasionally populates the yard even at our extreme northern latitudes. They don’t feature truly invasive traits, so we enjoy their volunteer population every year.
We’re sharing a few of our favorites this year, but violas are truly a regular and much anticipated variety of flower we grow every year. We typically show them off in the very early season and we’re overjoyed we still get to share ours with you this season!